Record: 49 – 33 (4th in the East)
Season Ended: Lost to the Celtics in the 2nd Round (7 games)
Tim Frazier (PG), Jodie Meeks (SG), Mike Scott (PF), Donald Sloan (PG)
Bojan Bogdanovic and Brandon Jennings
Projected Starters (Last year averages)
PG: John Wall (23 pts, 4 reb, 11 ast)
SG: Bradley Beal (23 pts, 3 reb, 4 ast)
SF: Otto Porter (13 pts, 6 reb, 2 ast)
PF: Markieff Morris (14 pts, 7 reb, 2 ast) *Out for 4-6 weeks
C: Marcin Gortat (11 pts, 10 reb, 2 ast)
Kelly Oubre, Jr, (SF), Jason Smith (PF/C), Ian Mahinmi (C), Donald Sloan (PG)
Major Story lines
Otto Porter Deal – The Wizards always said they were going to keep Otto Porter no matter what and they followed through on that promise. The Nets offered him a max deal with all kinds of unappealing clauses (trade kicker, player option, etc.) but the Wizards still matched it. The goal was always to keep their blossoming 3 together and basically wait for other teams (The Cavs and Raptors) to age out ahead of them. Porter will need to increase his production to earn the money he’s going to be getting and there’s reason to believe he will do so.
John Wall Extension – Though Wall said he was not concerned with signing an extension at this time he ended up doing so. He signed a “Super Max” contract this year and now the Wizards can keep Wall, Beal, and Porter together for the next 3 seasons. Again, they are going to try to wait out the teams ahead of them while also trying to get better every year. They are in a great position with this move and are likely a REAL scoring big man away from competing. Could they get in the mix somehow to reunite Wall with Cousins?
Mike Predictions (55 – 27) (3rd in the East)
- Wizards make the Eastern Conference Finals – I mentioned that I don’t think the Celtics are as good this year as they were last year. I meanwhile think the Wizards are better. They do need to upgrade their bench but their starters (besides Gortat) should all improve. I think Otto Porter is the X-Factor here. The Wizards went toe to toe with last year’s Celtics who were more defensively inclined (minus Isaiah) than this group and I expect another epic series. I just expect Wall to take his game a little higher than Kyrie’s in this situation
- John Wall finishes top 5 in MVP voting – I have the Wizards accomplishing a lot this season despite their lack of depth and it’s really going to be Wall at the head of it. His numbers were great last year and I think he improves upon them in this one. He got a taste of competing last year in the playoffs and I think he’s going to come back incredibly hungry this year.
Josh Predictions (48-34) (4th in the East)
- Bradley Beal an All Star – Bradley Beal is an efficient scorer and does a little bit of everything on both ends of the court. He’s also one of the best players on one of the best teams in a weak conference, so that helps too. I certainly expect him to be an All Star this year.
- Otto Porter regresses – Porter played well enough to get a max offer sheet back in July ($104 million). That’s essentially off of two decent seasons. Getting a big contract can often have a negative effect on guy’s playing, or at least their effort. I was surprised Porter got such a big contract in the first place, and I think he’ll regress this year after getting paid.